All posts by Rick & Ingrid

After 38 years of wine tasting, pairing and travel, we are sharing our love of food, wine and settings. We enjoy writing about our experiences and enjoy hearing from friends (new and old) about theirs. Our pages on this site are intended for the novice or newly awakened wine enthusiast as well as the more seasoned buff. We hope that this blog leads to our website where practical step by step recipes and tips will lead you to create some special meals with and for special people. Our motto: "You don't have to be rich ... to dine lik a king!" It just takes basic ingredients and creativity! Enjoy...

Shrimp Crostini

These wonderful crostinis are ready in 30 minutes serving 16

Flavors really blend, garlic rub on bread enhances and tickles the taste buds! -Enjoy with your favorite sparkling wine or champagne.




Super Tuscan – Sette Ponti Crognolo

Sette Ponti Crognolo

In March our tasting group chose to match small plates to Italian Super Tuscan wines.  The Sette Ponti Crognolo 2009 was one of the more outstanding wines within the chosen price range of $30 -$35.

Super Tuscan wines are blended wines some with Cabernet others with Merlot.  This Sette Ponti Crognolo is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot.   To read more

Crustless Asperagus Quiche

This wonderful Quiche is perfect for pairing with a Sauvignon Blanc on summer evenings.  It also makes for a great lunch!

Making it crustless cuts out a lot of carbs and calories. Using more egg whites than yolks cuts down on the cholesterol and fat, while still supplying 7 grams of protein per serving. Not too bad for just 72 calories a slice!  Recipe and more…


  • 2 cups sliced asparagus
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup (low-fat) feta cheese, optional parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and pour into a quiche pan or 9-inch glass pie plate.

Bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes or until filling is set.

Be sure to remove the tough, woody stems from the bottom of the asparagus before adding the sliced tips and spears.  Onions and tomatoes can add a lot of flavor to a quiche. Other veggies that will work in this quiche are chopped broccoli florets (very small pieces),  chopped zucchini, well dried canned chopped artichoke hearts, bell peppers, or cooked and drained spinach.  Shredded part-skim mozzarella can be used instead of the feta cheese, if preferred.

(If you are watching carbohydrates and calories, but want high protein, you really can’t do much better than this quiche.  You’ll be getting a lot of vitamins as well.  This delicious quiche is high in vitamins C, A, K, iron, and folate.)

Well Stocked Pantry – Cooking Without Running to the Store…

Below you will find a list of items that should be kept in any well stocked kitchen pantry.  With these basics you will be prepared to make most recipes and will need to add only specific items for specialties… Amounts to keep on hand will vary with family size.
Pantry Basics:
All Purpose flour 5 lbs
Brown sugar 1 lb
Sugar 10 lbs
Olive Oil  1 quart
Vegetable Oil 8 fl oz
Plain Dry Bread Crumbs 1 lb
Pasta & Grains
Elbow Macaroni   2 lbs
Penne Pasta       2 lbs
Spaghetti Noodles  5 lbs
White Rice    2 lbs
Sandwich Bread  1 loaf

Produce & Grains
Celery – 1 bunch
Garlic    1 lb
Potatoes Russet  10 lbs  (keep 1 fresh apple with the potatoes)
Potatoes Small Red  5 lbs  (keep 1 fresh apple with the potatoes)
Whole Carrots   1 lb
Yellow Onions   1/2 lb
Freezer Basics
Frozen Corn
Frozen  Green Beans
Frozen Peas
Frozen Stir Fry Blend such as
Broccoli, carrots, and pea pods

Refrigerator Basics

Eggs  2 dozen
Butter  2 lbs
2% milk
Parmesan Cheese
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Herbs & Spices

Coarsely Ground Pepper  (or corns and pepper mill)
Chili Powder
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Curry Powderkitchen-herbs-and-spices
Garlic Powder
Ground Cayenne Pepper
Ground Cinnamon
Ground Cumin
Ground Ginger
Onion Soup Mix
Taco Seasoning Mix
Canned or Jarred Goods
Chicken Broth
Beef Broth
Tomato Paste
Spaghetti or Marinara Sauce
Petite Diced Tomatoes
Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup 

Condiments, etc.
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Rice Vinegar
Barbecue Sauce
Dijon Mustard
Hot Sauce
Mayonnaise (olive oil)
Peanut Butter
Soy Sauce
White Vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce
Yellow Mustard

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fig Sauce


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Pork tenderloin is one of the best pork cuts it is delicate and tender suitable for your every day dinner table, dinner with guests or for that “date” night dinner for two. For this “date night” meal we are grilling on an indoor grill on the Viking.  Click here for the recipe.

The wine chosen for this meal is Craggy Ranch Winery – New Zealand. This 2009 Pinot Noir has fragrant aromatics of plum, red fruits and spicy earth. The palate is pure and very finely textured. This wine finishes with length and poise. A Wine Spectator rated 90 pts. and selling between  $39.99 to $45.00 a bottle, was a gift from friends who recommended it highly. – We were not disappointed. Thank you Rachel and Paul a great choice, it married beautifully with the tenderloin and figs.

Coq au Vin

The weather outside is frightful…..dinner by the fire is soooooooo delightful!  We have been cooking Coq au vin for over 10years.  It is one of our favorite fall/winter recipes.

Coq au vin didn’t originate on the 1960s TV show “The French Chef” but that’s where Julia Child translated the original coq au vin into the simple dish that it currently is, made with mushrooms, onions, bacon, red wine, and naturally chicken.

Here we provide the easy step by step instructions for a fabulous and “famous” chicken dish a smashing your Sunday evening supper or like us empty nesters and nice romantic meal by firelight.

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Oktoberfest Cooking

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Our Oktoberfest has now made it into the annals of our friends historic calendars, and requests for recipes have been made.  The preparation has been so much fun and obviously the recipes we share here on this site are made for a family dinner and not for a crowd of 40+, which our preparations called for.

Cooking German style isn’t difficult, it just takes a little time.  For recipes and cooking instructions for the Oktoberfest basics click here.

Information and recipes for Sausages and Red Cabbage as well as German Hot Potato Salad.  This is a great meal any time of the year, but especially good as a fall dinner.  If you cannot find German sausages at your local grocery store check the internet for a German deli in your area.  Here in the Sacramento area it is Morant’s Sausage Kitchen.  They offer all the German delicacies… sausages to cook, bake and spread… as well as fresh pretzels on Fridays.

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